Betsey Johnson on Her Trolls Collaboration and Life in Malibu

by Sydney Sadick

Leaving her Malibu paradise behind to pay a visit to NYC, Betsey Johnson showed off her new accessories collaboration with Trolls—the new DreamWorks movie—that’s sold exclusively at Macy’s, naturally, screams all-things Betsey. We caught up with the always fun and fabulous designer.

So Betsey, are you a fan of trolls?
Absolutely! I think I’ve been a troll my whole life—the glitter, the bright colors and the fur…it’s me! They’re like the costumes from my dancing school days—I wanted to be Rockette. It’s the first cartoon collaboration I’ve been asked to do, and it’s just perfect. My accessories are always very troll-esque in that they speak to you, they’re alive, and they are kitschy, like my cupcake, piano, milk carton, and popcorn bags. The avocado bag is quite handsome, too!

What are your favorite items in the range?
I love the gloves and I love all the pom-poms! A few years ago, I really started with them. I found them all over the place and thought this whole pom-pom thing was going to happen—and sure enough the troll is very fun and pom-pomy.

Are your two young granddaughters excited about the collaboration? 
If they aren’t on the sidelines at the premiere, they will die. They are 10 and 8. They know I’m a designer, but not really until this troll thing. Before they liked my jewelry and my bags, but they want all this stuff!

There are many fans waiting with selfie sticks here! Have you used one before?
I am very bad with anything electronic. I can’t do machines. I really can’t, and I won’t.

The last time we talked you had a boyfriend in Malibu. How’s that going?
Can you believe it? We met on a blind date at a coffee shop in the daytime. I definitely wasn’t thinking of ever meeting anyone again, and that was great because I’d rather be fun friends with guys than dream that I’m going to run into someone I could potentially really love. I looked just like this [when I met him] and he looked very corporate. I’m still with this guy and in heaven in Malibu. I’m very happy to work lightly and fun-ly on the best stuff now.

Anything else you’re working on?
My hotel in Mexico, and I just bought a little doll house in Paradise Cove. It’s not the Disney Land of Malibu, but it is an amazingly wonderful place to live. It’s a little trailer in a trailer park, but it’s my house so I can decorate it. It’s going to be pink, but it has to be the right shade. It’s beyond!

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